Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Behring Point is up and running

In my last post I told you a little bit about our project to restore a building that had been a bakery on the property of St. Mary's in Behring Pt, the southern most part of our island.  Fr. Gabriel Roerig, OSB arrived on Andros in 1894 and spent 56 years serving the people of Andros.  After building the church and rectory he built a small building known as the bakery.  He would bake bread for all the people here with no food.  The running joke here is it was called 'window bread', because he sliced it so thin you could see through it.  What the locals say is, 'nobody sliced bread any thinner than Fr. Gabriel, BUT, everyone got a slice.

Anyway - we noticed the walls were solid, but the windows, doors and roof where rotted away.  Knowing our kids at that end of the island had to kneel on the church floor to use the benches as desks, we decided to restore it.  So here is a pic of the building after the rotted wood and roof were removed

and here is the new building - not too shabby!

We had our first lessons this week and the kids got right to work with Ms Ginni watching over them

One bit of excitement was the snake that lived in the foundation decided to make an appearance, but he soon left and we carried on quite well.

Even having a game of Simon Says between lessons.

While we feel blessed to have this building - we do not have running water here, or electricity.  While Fr. Gabriel lived 56 years here without electricity, in 2013 its a challenge in 90 degree heat.  We were blessed to find a 'storm fan' while in Nassau.  This little battery operated unit has a fan, led lights, and a radio for use during hurricanes.  I bought 2 for about $60 each and leave them plugged in at the church to charge the battery and when we have class we pick them up and run the fans on the battery - it works just fine (haven't told the kids about the built in radio yet).

The lack of running water created a problem because little kids need to use the poddy when CCD lasts all morning like our class does.  Someone suggested a composting toilet and we checked them out.  We found one for $860 that uses no electricity and no running water - a toilet used for RV's or boats or that remote camp in the mountains.  It has two tanks, one for liquid waste, one for solid.  The liquid we bring home and dump in the toilet,  the solid is set up with a paddle and you put in peat moss.  After doing your business your turn the paddle and the solid waste and peat moss mix, naturally creating compost over time.

Next to what had been the bakery is the church and the rear door to the sacristy.  Well the church is really beyond fixing but the sacristy is solid so we locked off the door into the church and used the sacristy door as the door into our new sacristy-rest room.  You can imagine the interest when I had to show our kids this new invention.  All the lessons went well until we said it was time to go - - then everyone had to pee.   Each took their turn and it worked like a champ.

Enough for now - next time we should be opening up the new church in Mastic Point - I'll have lots to tell and hope to have pics to post as well.
Till next time

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